It is extremely important to recognize that the information given to us from within the Bible is the only things we need to know in order to understand our responsibilities as a Christian. If certain subjects are not discussed, then they are not important for us to know. But, this does not stop many people from writing many books concerning aspects about which we know nothing. An example of this is the many books written about the life of Jesus as he grew up. Most people believe that He was a carpenter, but, in reality, we do not know this nor do we know anything about his life in His teens or twenties. We know nothing, nor does it matter !!!
The reason that these types of books are written is difficult to understand considering they add nothing to our knowledge or understanding of biblical doctrine. In fact, many of these books offer us wrong information concerning doctrine and we must wonder where Satan enters the scene under these circumstances. It is not surprising when asked, most people will say that there were three Wise Men that came to Jesus at His birth, and this is completely wrong. The Wise Men came bearing three gifts at about the time Jesus was at least one and a half years old. There could have been two or as many as ten Wise Men, no one knows, nor does it matter. What matters is that it is wrong and this incorrect thinking advances onto more important issues. There is not a single book written about the early life of Jesus that is based upon fact and should never be used in Bible study. The only correct and reliable information that we have is that from which we get from the Bible.
Another problem that creates misunderstanding is taking verses out of context and basing a belief on that single verse. We hear people quoting their favorite verse in normal conversation, and unfortunately it has nothing to do with what they are talking about because they have not totally understood the meaning of the verse. There are very few, if any, important verses with great meaning that are repeated in more than one of the gospels but with a slightly different phraseology. Every lesson or message is backed up in other places and it is necessary to read them all in order to grasp the true meaning.
It is very easy to be influenced by others who we believe are intelligent people. Often times there may be a verse or lesson with which we are having difficulty grasping the meaning and so we may read what others have concluded concerning the issue. But, we must remember that the person offering the explanation is only giving his or her opinion and it may very well be incorrect, especially if Satan is involved, and he usually is. God will always give us the proper understanding if we ask and wait for it…
Carl Jung, the cofounder of psychiatry, along with Sigmund Freud, was certainly a brilliant man. At one point, Jung wrote an entire book about the fact that man is actually god and that there was not only a single Divine Being and this belief was based on a single sentence spoken by Jesus. The Pharisees were arguing with Jesus about when the kingdom will come. Jesus explained “…..the kingdom of God is within you.” ( Luke 17:21 ) and based on these seven words, Jung concluded that all men were gods !!! The problem with this ridiculous conclusion is that it entered into his teachings to his students and as they became Psychiatrists, it influenced their treatment to their patients and so on down the line. And, who is going to question Carl Jung ??? It can be and is a dangerous practice to seek advice from books written that give information about which we know nothing. The Bible is not subject to opinion !!! God will always help us understand what He wants us to know in many ways and one of them may be by reading someone else’s’ thoughts on the subject. But, we must always make certain that whatever information a person may get is in exact alignment with biblical doctrine. But, the best place to look for help is always the Bible and God. The Bible tells us that if any man lack wisdom to ask God and He will gladly give it. And, “any” man mean any, the person does not even need to be a child of God… Bible commentaries are very interesting, but it is surprising how different most are from each other in their opinions… The Bible is the only accurate source of information. We should never underestimate the extent to which Satan will go to confuse and add doubt or give us wrong information concerning biblical doctrine. The Bible really is the only source of truth and we should exercise our faith that God will give us the understanding when we need it…
Everyone believes that they are correct with their opinions and the way to achieve salvation. As Christians, we believe that observing the conditions given to us from within the Bible, which we believe are the words of God, will open the doors of Heaven to us. The only problem is that there are so many different denominations using different “translations” that have changed the words of God that the people who use these Bibles may be in jeopardy. If the changes make no difference in achieving salvation, then that would mean that there are various ways of reaching Paradise and we know that this is not true. Jesus speaks of the path being very wide, but the gate very narrow and few will pass through… We are not going to quote chapter and verse because anyone that has studied the Bible know from where these words come. The people that have not read and studied the Bible will probably still be here on Earth after the Rapture !!!
The Bible is a miraculous document. When we read it, we see and understand the lesson that is being given. But, the levels of understanding the deeper meanings to each lesson is endless. The Spirit will lead us down through the teachings and we see more and more of the miraculous aspects of the Book. There are still parts of the Bible where the meaning has not yet been given to us. Many may disagree with that statement, but it is true. As God decides to reveal His word to us, the Spirit will lead us to the understanding. People believed for years certain aspects of Heaven that have recently been questioned because of new information being revealed to us by God. It was either Heaven or hell, but now we are understanding that there may very well be other places or place for the souls to spend eternity.
The new understanding seems to be given to the very elect, and a Sunday morning Christian probably is not included in this group. It is also possible that as we approach the end that God is only now revealing this information to His chosen people. Anyone who does not acknowledge that most every group has altered in some fashion the original words of God is either in denial or being influenced greatly by Satan. Not that many years ago, the largest “Christian” institution taught that if you did not belong to that group that it was impossible to achieve salvation. This foolishness may have been changed in the years after along with many other alterations to bring that group into closer alignment with fundamental doctrine. But, this is an example of how far away from Christian doctrine some churches have gone.
The good news is that as long as a person is alive, he or she still has a chance to examine their beliefs and embrace the fundamental and true aspects of the original words given to us by God. However, it is something that each of us must do ourselves. We cannot expect our Pastor or anyone else to do it for us. We have a personal relationship with God and the Spirit will guide us down the correct path. There is only one way and it is the way given to us by God !!!
The Bible is made up of two parts, the Old Testament, and the New Testament !!! The Jews use only the Old Testament, but Christians use both Old and New Testaments. Now, this seems simple enough, but for some reason, Christians put little or no importance to the Old Testament. Many are told to read it once and then concentrate their studies on the New, and this is very poor advice. If a person were to be asked what happened when Jesus died, most would tell you that He took our sins upon Himself and we are therefore forgiven all of our sins, past present and future. This is very true, but it is only a small but tremendously important part of what took place upon the death of Jesus. Many other important aspects of our lives changed also, and some extremely important. Jesus is called “The Redeemer”, but few understand exactly what that means. The atoning death of Jesus also redeemed us from all aspects of the Laws and the Commandments that were given by God to Moses and were to be upheld in order to achieve salvation.
We must realize that the New Testament is based totally upon the Old Testament and without knowledge of Old Testament teaching, we cannot fully understand quite a lot of the lessons given in the New Testament. It is also rather helpful to know from what we were redeemed. Old Testament scripture is referenced throughout the New Testament and without knowing to what the reference reflects, it is impossible to totally understand the lesson that is being given. The Bible is not an easy Book to understand. The levels of deeper understand of an obvious teaching are endless. This is one of the miraculous aspects of the Book and without the assistance of the Spirit, it is almost impossible to grasp any deeper meaning and we lose the incredible elements of this document. We must keep in mind however, that we do not get any help from the Sprit until we become children of God…
But, now let us examine one of the reasons that God was so distressed with His people. There were about one hundred and twenty three original Laws given to Moses by God. At the time of Jesus, man had added over eight hundred more Laws and those are the ones by which they lived. The Jewish lawyers had changed certain aspects of the Laws of God for various purposes and made it easier for them to theoretically keep the Law. Obviously this is a ridiculous notion and that is why Jesus chided with the Temple leaders and Priests. We can learn from this and it is an important lesson, and one we take very seriously… Oh really !!!
Today, we have literally hundreds of different denominations of Christianity and why is this true ? Because, at some point, certain people made changes to the Words of God to suit their agendas. Does this sound familiar ? Well, it should because it is exactly what the Jews did that angered God so much. It is foolish to believe that God now accepts man changing His words, especially when He warns us that changing a single word will remove the name of such people from The Book of Life…
Now, this practice has not stopped. It still goes on today mostly to be politically correct or to go along with current thinking and moral behavior. Again, it would be ridiculous to think that God accepts these changes and that the people that practice these new rules are fine with Him. Every denomination has changed certain parts of the doctrine within the Bible. Some have altered a little, but many have changed it to the point where we can hardly call these people Christians. It is obvious that we, as humans, have no right to change a single word of the Bible without fear of grave consequences. Now, here is the warning:
Matthew 7:21-23 “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
Many shall say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
And then I will profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
This seems fairly conclusive, but we may as well add another warning that may be appropriate…
Revelation 22:18-19 “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”
The Bible is filled with various promises that God has made for the benefit of His children. First, let us overcome this idiotic notion that God did not write the Bible, and accept the fact that, yes, He chose certain people to write His words and that He did not actually write it Himself… And in the Bible, He has offered to His children many benefits that are available to, first achieve salvation and second, to make our lives on this earth much easier. Jesus has said that He came to give life and to give life more abundantly. Well, if the lifeabout which He is speaking is paradise, then how can paradise, which is perfection, be more abundant. What He is telling us is that we have two lives, our eternal life and our earthly life. The first life is paradise and the life that He can make more abundant is our life on earth.
The first thing that we must do is just BELIEVE !!! Our faith is constantly being tested and Satan is always attempting to cast doubt upon all that God has told to us. He even tried it with Jesus and was not successful, but, unfortunately, he is very successful with many of us. There is NOTHING impossible with God, and nothing means exactly that, nothing… But, we must believe in these words with all of our hearts and fight off the satanic influences that are always present.
We are told that faith pleases God more than anything, but we must know in what we have faith. Believing the words and promises of God is the essence of faith. And, do not think that asking for things for ourselves is a selfish thing. Many believe that we should only ask for things for others, but the Bible tells us just the opposite. We are told that; we have not because we ask not; and we are told; to cast all our cares upon Him… We are also promised that for whatever we ask, we will receive, as long as it is in His will. Many think that this condition limits for what we can ask, but in fact, it is in a sense of protection from our own human weaknesses. God knows what is best for us and will not give us anything that will ultimately hurt us, so just believe and trust, but mostly believe because it will happen at the best time for us. Remember that our conception of delay to a request is not a denial. Many times we must be prepared to accept His gift and that may take time, but that time should be spent considering what lesson are we being taught or what is it that we must stop or maybe start to do to be in a position to accept our request. Remember, God is never wrong, but we, as humans, are very often wrong… If we are asked to wait, then wait but never give up hope. Satan will always be there trying to convince us that a thousand things are preventing God from hearing our prayers, but he is just lying and we should believe that also, because that is true. So, ask and then wait and if we are asked to do something, then do it. It is just that simple if you BELIEVE !!!
As each day passes, we get closer to the end… As individuals, and the world itself move towards the final days, we may think that there is nothing that we can do about it !!! But, maybe there is something that we can do about it… Our lives are limited in time, as is the world, and we know not the time of our death. But, the Bible gives us warning signs as to the coming of the end of the world, and maybe as Christians, we can do something to slow that process. This may sound ridiculous, but so is moving a mountain and we are told that we can do that.
One of the prophecies of the approaching end is that the world will be governed by a single leader, who just happens to be the antichrist. However, in order for there to be one world leader, the world must become almost totally unified with all nations agreeing with similar policies. In recent years, we can notice a few examples of world unification. Europe is almost completely unified and the introduction of the Euro as currency, another prophecy was fulfilled. The outstanding nation for quite a while has been the United States but recently our nation has been moving towards European policies instead of being the leader of the free world. God has blessed this country in many ways and many believe it is because we have always protected Isreal and been their strongest and perhaps their only ally. It is interesting to note that as we have backed away from our relationship with Isreal that our own country has suffered many setbacks… The Jewish people still are the chosen people of God and this condition that we face may or may not just be coincidence, however many also believe that there is no such thing as coincidence. In any event, just as most other nations, we find ourselves essentially bankrupt and governed by political individuals that seem to pay little or no attention to the populace. In fact and reality, there probably is no way in which we can fix our problems and return to the great nation that we once were… We have gone too far and the problems that we face are going to be corrected only by Divine intervention. Our country is divided into two groups, just as most other nations, the ruling class and the underlings and there is very little, if any, connection between the two.
So, what does all this mean ? It means that unless our nation reverses the direction in which it is going that we will very shortly be just like all other nations. At that point, it becomes almost sensible to select a single leader for the entire world and thus we have allowed the prophecy to be fulfilled. So, how do we stop this from happening and thus slow the process down ? We are Christians and we have direct access to God. If all Christians were to ask our Lord to aid us in selecting individuals to represent the people and not their own interests, we increase the chances of beginning to work out our dilemma. We must remove from office all those who are causing the decay of American greatness and elect people of honor in their place.
What is taking place is not just the evolution of civilization, but is the program of Satan on which he has been working since the dawn of man. As the time that our election draws near, we must try to make our decisions based upon the intellect that God has given to us, and not let our emotions interfere with the best decision. We must ask ourselves if the individual that is seeking office is honorable and aligned with Christian doctrine with regard to all issues. Too many times, we vote for someone that looks good and speaks well, but their opinions are against Christian principles. A political party is just a load of garbage and voting the party without regard to the beliefs of the individual is how we got into this mess in the first place. The platforms of the parties are just words to which the elected person pays little or no attention. We must remove those that are in office now that are diminishing our status in the world and slow that process of the coming of the end.
God is very patient and gracious towards His children and will give them anything that is in our best interests. The longer we can hold back the fulfillment of the prophecy, the more time there is for people to achieve salvation, and that includes our friends and families. It is time to overcome our emotional tendencies and use our intelligence when we make our decision for who we will cast our vote. We do know one thing, and that is that our current administration has preferences that have diminished our position as the leader of the world.All we need is one nation not to succumb to a universal government and we have prevented the advance of the coming of the end.
No one knows the time of the end, not even Jesus, but God alone, and some may believe that there is nothing that can be done about His decision. But we have evidence that He will listen to His people and alter a decision under the right circumstances. We have seen that Abraham, Moses, Gideon and others have asked God to alter His decision and it was done. Believing that there is nothing that we, as Christians, can do to change any outcome is only an excuse to do nothing. And, we see how doing nothing has allowed Satan to do his work and get us to the place in which we find ourselves. Believe in the grace and love of God towards His people and make a unified supplication to Him and we will all be amazed at the outcome !!!
Based upon certain blogs and comments, it seems necessary to explain again that tithing is not a Christian requirement… There is absolutely nothing in the New Testament that speaks of tithing as a rule for Christians. Some believe that tithing is a way of demonstrating faith, but in a way, it is actually against the teachings of Jesus. Jesus tells that when we give, we should do it in private and we will be rewarded openly. Tithing is not a private gift although there is nothing wrong with giving money to the church, in fact, more should do it, but it is not to be considered tithing. The only mention of tithing in the New Testament is when Jesus is confronting the Jews concerning their obligations !!! When Jesus died on the cross and redeemed us from the Law, the redemption was not selective. It is not as if He redeemed us from certain obligations but others remained in effect. His death cleared us of all Jewish Laws which included tithing. A demonstration of faith is to believe in the words of Jesus and the rules for our behavior that are given to us in the New Testament. However, there are some that feel that they should do something for their church and they are correct. But, if it be an offering of money, it should not be considered tithing because there is no such obligation to a Christian !!!
There was a small church in the Midwest that had a bus to pick up the congregate for Sunday services. Well, the bus finally broke down and could not be repaired and so the pastor prayed during his sermon for a new bus… The elders of the church confronted him and told him that they did not think it appropriate to pray for material things. A few days later, the local Rotary club in this small town purchased a new van for their own use and gave their old, perfectly good, bus that they were using to the church… Not surprisingly, the elders did not see this as an answer to the prayer of the pastor !!! What the pastor did was to demonstrate his faith by believing that God will always give us what we need. This is faith !!!
It is true that the Bible tells us that God loves a cheerful giver, but He also explains the different types of giving. Jesus was upset with the Jews because they had corrupted their tithing and the same problem exists to some extent today. There are some that do not tell the truth about their income in order to give less to the church, as well as other problems of this nature. It is human nature, as we are shown in the Old Testament, to “adjust” certain aspects of the requirements when it is convenient for some people. And, we must never forget or underestimate the influence of Satan in these instances.
Of course, it is necessary that the church has sufficient funds to continue, but having faith that God will provide those necessities is showing true faith. We should all give whatever we can for the benefit of all the members, whether it be money or painting the building or mowing the lawn. Tithing was and is a Jewish requirement, but it is not a Christian requirement. We know this because the Bible tells that to us. If the Bible that a person is using says that tithing is a requirement for Christians, that person better get a new and true Bible !!!
As weread through some of the blogs submitted to this site, it is difficult not to notice the amount of misunderstanding that some have concerning Christian doctrine. The principle of tithing comes up often and tithing is not a Christian principle or requirement…Clearly, it was a Jewish rule, but all of those regulations were eliminated upon the death of Jesus. There is absolutely no mention of tithing within the New Testament as a requirement to Christianity. The Book does say that God loves a cheerful giver, but one must read on to understand what that means. Taking that statement out of context and the persistent preaching by some Pastors concerning this aspect could easily confuse almost anyone. If we read on, we find that the Bible tells us that giving is a variety of things depending upon what God wants from each of us. In some cases, money is what He expects, but there are many other activities that are mentioned that are considered “giving”… Each of us will be given a job to do for the benefit of the church to which we belong, but giving money is not for all of us, just those that God has selected.
If your Pastor tells the congregate that tithing is a requirement, there is a problem !!! The Pastor who preaches tithing is telling us any number of things, all of which are not good. He is either uniformed, or he is greedy, or he is demonstrating his lack of faith that God will provide whatever is necessary in order to keep the group going. Any one or all of these things are bad for the people under his responsibility and he should be questioned concerning this belief. There is a huge amount of discussion by Jesus and in the Epistles concerning not worrying about financial things because God knows our needs and will provide whatever it is that we need… So, a Christian can either listen to his or her Pastor or listen to God. It is your decision !!!
Unfortunately, many church groups collect far more money than it needs in order to continue serving the members. Some of the huge television “churches” actually have counting rooms were the money is counted and recorded, and the Pastors live in mansions and live very richly. The Bible speaks of this also and tells us of many “shipwrecked” teachers as a result of money.
We are certainly not claiming that all Pastors are corrupt, but clearly some are. The members of the group usually rely heavily upon what their leader tells them, but if tithing is one of those things, that Pastor should be questioned. The problem is that too many claiming Christians have not even read the Book and therefore do not know what is expected of them. We have a direct and one on one relationship with God which is far more important than our relationship with our Pastor. We should get to know God and what are His expectations for us because it is different for everyone. If a person wants to be a Doctor, that person must study and do whatever is necessary for the individual to do themselves. You cannot have someone else do it for you… If a person wants to be a Christian, it is the same principle. You must do it yourself and not let someone else do it for you !!! Listen to Jesus when He says “learn of me” and you will find that many things that are being taught are not aligned with biblical doctrine !!!
Every person that has any religious belief no matter what it may be called thinks that they are going to heaven when they die. It makes no difference from where they received their information, they still believe that at the end of their lives on this earth that they will immediately be greeted at the gates of heaven and they will pass through into paradise…Unfortunately, this is not true, but no matter how hard one may try and direct them towards the proper way to salvation, these poor souls will not pay attention because they already believe that they are fine !!! Also unfortunately, people who claim to be Christians also believe that they are fine, but they are also wrong with their beliefs. Claiming Christianity is not a ticket to heaven. Christianity is not a belief as most Christians think, but it is a way of life that few actually live in that concept…
We have been given the Bible which is the words of God and in it are the instructions to reach paradise. This Book is not open to opinion and it is certainly not open to be altered or interpreted in any way because the words are the words of God. However, man seems to believe that he can change certain doctrine for any number of reasons and that they will still be fine. We are not going to quote biblical verses here because those who have read the Bible will know from whence these statements come, and those who have never read the Bible do not have any idea as to the proper method of reaching paradise…
God tells us how He wants us to behave and He is not about to accept our opinions or changes to His rules. The Old Testament not only gives us insight into the nature of man but also the nature of God when man does not follow His instructions. And, we see that very little has changed in His attitude in the New Testament. An example of this is as we see in Isaiah that God talks about when we go through the fire that we will not be hurt. It should be noted that it does not say “if” we go through the fire, it says “when” which means that we will go through the fire as a test of our faith. In the New Testament, Peter speaks about the fact that we should not be surprised when we go through the fiery trial.
Clearly the death of Jesus opened to us the opportunity to achieve salvation, but it did not guarantee it. His death redeemed us from the curse of the Jewish Laws and rules, but it did not mean that there were not new rules that we must follow in order to achieve salvation. As we read through the Epistles, we find many rulings for our behavior to which we must attempt to adhere to and live by. However, over the years, just as in the Old Testament, many of these rules were altered by man as if man had the right to do. It is difficult to understand how this can happen considering the warning that God gives to us at the very end of the Bible when He tells us that anyone that changes a single one of His words will not achieve salvation…
Salvation is a process that begins when we accept God as our Father and Jesus as our Savior. Jesus tells us of the steps of the process which is repeated within the Epistles along with other rules that we are expected to attempt to follow. We say attempt because it is impossible to be totally adherent to these rules, but we must, at least, try !!! We will know that we are going down the proper path as we are faced with the experiences described in the Bible begin to happen to us. And then, we WILL be tested !!! And, this test will not be easy. It may even feel as if we are being punished, but that is not true. Although our sins have been forgiven and God does not punish us, He sometimes chastises us for our benefit.
The problem is that over the years there have been many changes made by man to the original words given to us by God. And, usually a new denomination develops which explains the number of different and various denominations. Considering the words of God concerning making changes to His words, it is difficult to believe that He is willing to accept these changes and give salvation to those who follow the altered words. In fact, changes are still being made today and many of them are alterations to extremely important aspects of Christian doctrine. We are not ignorant of the power of persuasion of Satan, but the very elite will not be confused or corrupted.
It seems unreasonable to think that God would accept any changes made to His perfect words and anyone that follows an altered Bible may very well be in danger. We know how He handled the Old Testament souls that were disobedient to His words and we also know the He is the same “yesterday, today and tomorrow” !!!